By Brooke Holt
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.” - 1 Corinthians 15:26-28
No one escapes the pain of death! By age of 22, I had experienced the death of three good friends from high school, my best friend’s mother, grandparents, and, most devastating, one of my very best friends in college. Most of these deaths were untimely deaths, and they tore apart the fabric of my heart and the hearts of many others. One of my favorite quotes about death came from my friend in college. Powerfully, this quote of hers was shared in her funeral service: “Christians never say goodbye, just see you later.” How many times have I clung to these words relishing the idea of seeing her face again, enjoying life together—and not just life, but eternal life?
Paul also addressed the pain of death while reminding his readers that the pain of death would one day be destroyed. Better yet, death itself would be destroyed. In his death and resurrection, Jesus overcame death. As the song by Casting Crowns declares, “Death could not hold him, the grave could not keep him from rising again” (Glorious Day). When God raised Jesus from the dead, he broke the stronghold of death and provided the way not only for Jesus to be raised from the grave but all who would put their trust in him.
As we have experienced, especially in these almost two years of the pandemic, people are still dying. Believers are still dying. We are still grieving the loss of those we love. We live in the now-but-not-yet in that we have the full assurance that we will have life everlasting, we will have resurrected bodies, and we will enjoy the fullness of God’s reign on earth. We have hope, but we have hope that is still waiting for its completion.
Jesus will come again and establish his kingdom. While we wait, we groan and long for that full restoration. We wait for the end of death, the end of sin, and the end of Satan’s reign in this world.
Paul wanted his readers to know that this hope would be fulfilled. God will be all in all. It is worth the wait so hang in there!
How does this passage bring even greater hope to you today? Pain, sin, and death remain a part of our earthly existence for a limited time, then death will be destroyed. Christians won’t have to say good-bye or see you later; instead, we will enjoy all the blessings of eternal life with our God and with each other. May you be encouraged by what is to come! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Could you use some hope right now? Join Peter’s first audience—“elect exiles” undergoing persecution—and experience the apostle’s powerful call to follow Jesus in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing your Living Hope is not a distant one, but a daily, glorious, life-giving reality! This unique six-week small group Bible study, A Living Hope: A Study of 1 Peter, helps you uncover the priceless promises written specifically to the struggling and the hurting, with pastoral gentleness and bold confidence for the future. This study of 1 Peter will help you become utterly convinced that Jesus is the only sure, true, incorruptible, and permanent hope for you.
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